Life In General

A Day In The Life Of …

Wednesday – one of those days I never thought would end …

Not me, but how I felt ...
Not me, but how I felt …

7:00 AM – pick up daughter who is on disability due to uncontrolled lucid seizures among other things, and drop her off at Department of Human Assistance so she can figure out why her food allowance for her and her son was discontinued.  The notice she received indicated she earned too much.  On State disability? With a special needs teenager?

8:45 AM – first meeting of the day at work – sales staff stuff.

9:30 AM – second meeting of the day – touring two clients around the hotel for a conference this fall

10 AM – leave work (early lunch) to go pick up daughter and take her home

12 PM – 1:30 PM – second day of a two-day virtual training at my desk

1:30 – 5 PM – follow up on pending business, sales phone calls, normal things I normally due through a full day

5:30 PM – meet up with soon to be ex husband to review the last of the forms needing filing for our dissolution.

6:30 PM – stop for one cocktail on the way home

A little Saffire and 2 limes please!
A little Saffire and 2 limes please!

7:30 PM – walk the dog, finally fix some dinner and watch a little TV – I think I dozed for about half an hour along the way ….

10:30 PM – pick up son’s girlfriend who is temporarily living with us because the apartment where she lived with her mom burned from fire in connecting duplex. Thank goodness it’s only 5 minutes away!

11:30 PM – start last of dissolution paperwork so I can file it at the courthouse tomorrow morning at 7:30 AM.

12:30 AM – get text from son that his car has broken down and he is stranded about 3 miles away on his way home from work

1:00 AM – complete dissolution paperwork

2:00 AM – finally turning the light out- to be up at 6:00 AM to leave by 7 AM to hit the courthouse on the way to work.

And finally – a little peace and quiet!

sand

Thank goodness not all days are like this – makes me appreciate those when I’m home by 6 pm, quick dinner, no-one around, and dozing on the couch by 8!

Does your life ever feel this way?

Namaste – I honor you – and your crazy life!

Memories

Memories – Junior High Graduation – Vandenberg Air Force Base June 1965

vafb

A June day, 1965 – Vandenberg AFB Junior High Graduation, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.   I’m the short one in the photo – of course!  I love that we actually were required to dress in white dresses, shirts and ties, and the girls wear gloves.

My three best friends – Annette Montalvo, Genevieve Paschal and Ronald Dockham.  I moved six weeks in later in July to Sacramento when my dad got transferred to McClellan Air Force Base and started over again – new school, new friends, new life.

I’m still friends with Annette (now goes by Sam) – we’ve managed to keep in each other’s lives off and on throughout the last fifty-one years (is that possible?).  Genni and I maintained a friendship until about 1975 when I tired of her stealing from me and her drug addict life.  I lost touch with Ron when I moved. I’m sorry that happened. He was a sweet but sad kid even then.

I’m still in touch with many kids from this time – VAFB Brats … now facebook friends – and a fairly tight group.  I’m glad!   These years were some of the very best of my growing up.

Good memories, good times – then we grew up!

It happens.

 

Adventures

Itty Bitty’s Moving

Hello my friends, I am in the process of transfering my wordpress.com blog to my new website www.ittybittyboomer.com – please check out the new website, and register there to continue following me while I’m in this strange time of transition!

With any luck within a week everything here will be there …

Thank you!

The Itty Bitty Boomer

Adventures

Girlie Parties

I love “ladies only” parties!   You know – ladies “naughty” parties …  There’s a round of them going in my circle right now through Pure Romance. This isn’t an endorsement or suggestion that you go buy toys and lotions and potions .. but that being said, get 12 women togther on a hot Sunday afternoon in someone’s living room – add appetizers and wine and have a conversation/demonstration about “bedroom enhancement” products and before you know it, it’s a downright hysterically laugh-filled 3 hours.

naughty

Sniff this, lick that – OMG! Look at how the tip on that thing buzzes!  The age group?  Late 20’s to Grandma at 87.   Grandma was the funniest one to watch – her expressions while our consultant described what this cream or lotion was for (she actually snorted out loud when we talked about minimizing gag reflex) – and played with speed dials and rotation controls on the toys that looked nothing like old fashion phallac-shaped toys …. and then very calmly stated that after 60+ years of sex, there’s probably not a lot new she could still learn.  Evelyn, I love you!

Hysterical!  Reminded me of my mom who was 80 when I started selling Pure Romance 15 years ago (for about 3 years).  The trend then was brightly colored silicone rubber … she examined one 6-inch long neon green buzzing shaft and, with a straight face, looked up and asked, “What is this? A flashlight?”. Ah. mommie – I love you and miss your open and liberal sense of humor!

vibrators

My order will be arriving in about 10 days.  Hey, I’m a single girl!   And I booked my party for Fall!

Thank you, my friend Kitty Kat, for hosting Sunday’s laugh-fest!   It was a much needed break for the realities of my life!

Namaste – I honor you – and your friendship!

Itty Bitty

Adventures

Highlights and Tattoos – The Lighter Side of Life

So I’ve been playing with my little blog for 5 years now.  The last few years have been fairly dark ones – and I want to move on from the darkness and chaos. It’s still there, I deal with it on a daily basis.  Mama bear will always deal with the chaos.

And where do I want to go with this little blog from here?  Well, I’m thinking more on:

The joys and stresses of aging from my prospective, staying young at heart while becoming old of bone, friendships, relationships, effective make up for aging skin (cos I’m always searching), fun hairstyles in spite of being older, and a little bit of this and that with respect to family (because that’s number one in my book said this mama bear)  …. yep, that’s it!

That being said, lately I’ve been working on being contented with me and letting that “me” out.  

The “medically supervised fast” is on hold because I started having major issues with digestive issues from no fat, high protein and iron supplements if you get my drift.  I’m in process with finding something else low calorie/high protein to replace it without the side effects.

A few weeks ago I took a second step in changing the color of my hair from mousy brown to a darker chocolate brown – and eventually silver highlights.  Brittney Johnson at  Salon Bravissimo in Fair Oaks, I still love you a year later!

hair

Then last weekend I got my very first (and I’m sure only)  tattoo.  I saw it a few months ago and knew I had to have it.  Thank you Nick at Fat Cat Tattoo in Carmichael, CA for the awesome artwork and being gentle with the ol’ lady!!!

 

And last but not least, I got a new ‘puter – lending my old smaller one to my son so he has his own laptop to use.

I also have to share a little gratitude here for the new circle of women friends I’ve made over the last year through my work networking systems.  I see some of them becoming life-long alliances.  Part of my availability to foster these friendships is my single state – I have time to actually spend with friends occasionally – and they are the kind of friendships in which we actually do “wellness checks” with each other when one is struggling.   Women and friends ….. critical!

So Namaste, my friends – I honor you and your willingness to grow and change!

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surgically Altered Freak

Beginning the Journey – “ReLoss”

It’s been a busy month since my return to sane medical care – had 2 blood tests, a mammogram, am scheduling a routine colonoscopy and a not routine stress echocardiogram.  … Started intake a few weeks ago at the medically supervised weight loss clinic my PCP referred me to – The Hernried Center here in Sacramento.  A full hour appointment.  Minimal physical, EKG (in which there was some small abnormality) and orders set forth for more blood lab work.   A 600-800 calorie a day (low carb/high protein) regime – definitely needing supervision.

The next day I gave 9 vials of blood which resulted in close to 50 lab results.  Normal actually. Got the lab results about a week ago – and found that some things I thought would be issues were fine, and some things need attention –

Chloride 110 High
Parathyroid (PTH) 94 High
Calcium 8 Low
Ferritin 7 Low
Vitamin D3 25-Hydroxy 8 Low

Started taking chewable calcium citrate and vitamin D3, along with my sublingual B12 (which was ok) again.  Add a multivitimin, ferrous sulfate iron, and slo-mag (magnesium) and fiber supplement daily and there’s breakfast (ha!).  This is not in any way sponsored, but my personal favorite source of bariatric friendly supplements is Bariatric Advantage. Reasonable, free shipping and they taste good.

The first week – the end of week one, I lost 2.6 pounds.  That was after a weekend of 2 days of travel, a trade show, networking mixer and visiting clients.  I was happy!

By the end of week 2, I lost 3 more pounds – probably would have liked to lose more – but as long as I’m losing every week, I’ll take it.  And gave them 2 more vials of blood. Labs – every 6 weeks to check vital levels.

Tomorrow is the end of my 3rd week – it’s been a struggle only from the point of missing my wine.  That’s my battle – nothing to do with the program! Let’s hope for 2 pounds.

And all the while, life goes on – my daughter was taken off her seizure meds because her neurologist feels that they have been causing her lack of sleeping (1-2 hours a night at best), and now she has started having small seizures again.  In June she goes inpatient for 5 – 6 days to be hooked up to about a hundred electrodes on her head to see if it can be determined if her seizures are localized in one part of her brain or not.  If so, she may be a candidate for surgery to help alleviate the seizures.  It’s a bittersweet opportunity.  She’s been on disability now since December – and there’s no end in sight.

My son now earns too much (marginally) for MediCal so has lost his free medical and can’t afford medical insurance.  I will likely end up subsidizing him for this because he cannot be without his bipolar meds and access to psychiatric med management. The last 2 weeks for him have been a manic week and a half (thank goodness it resulted only in him getting some business done in spite of not sleeping), then a 36-hour crash of sleeping non-stop, and general depression.  That’s bipolar life, even medicated.

One day at a time, my friends, that’s all you an do.  That’s the best we can take it most of the time.

Namaste – I honor you – with your crazy busy days ….  one day at a time.

Itty Bitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family

Welcome Ms Paige Lynn

 

One probable downside to my divorce is that I was so looking forward to having this little girlie as my only grand daughter even if it was to be “step” … one good reason to stay friends with the soon-to-be-ex is watching this new little family as they grow.

It was a privilege to be included with their family on Tuesday morning when she came into this world, surrounded by mommy and daddy, 3 sets of grandparents and an uncle … such love.

You’ll do just fine, little girlie, you’ll do just fine!

Namaste – I honor you, little one – thank you for letting me hug you and give you kisses.

Itty Bitty (aka Gramaree)

 

Surgically Altered Freak

Never Say Never Again

I haven’t posted in a while – mostly because IF I GET TIRED OF LISTENING TO MY DRAMA I’m sure others do too.  It’s exhausting.

Yes, I still deal daily with my adult children’s chronic mental and physical health issues – yes, I’m still dealing with my divorce… and the resulting anxiety and minor depressions.  And once again it has become crystal clear that, as much as I hoot and hollar to other women that we must always take care of ourselves first if we are to take care of others, I have been ignoring my own health.  Or, at least, not paying attention to it.   No. Ignoring it.

I went to the doctor this week for the first time in about 2 years.  After seven years and multiple health insurance changes, I was finally able to get back in to see the coolest doctor I’ve ever had.  I had to wait almost an hour past my appointment time, which normally would have driven me up the wall, but then she spent forty-five minutes with me.  Well beyond the expected ten minutes in and out crap that most doctors manage.  She listens.   She responds.  She’s intuitive.  She picked up right away on my anxiety and low grade depression issues.  She recognized my self-medicating with wine (better than Zanex, I argued) and suggested we try something that might be more helpful and less harmful.   She acknowledged my concern about regain after my gastric bypass surgery 10 years ago and the psychology around it – the stressors in my life and how they  are impacting my health.  Within that 45 minutes, she started the following processes:

  • Ordered immediate blood work to check hemoglobin for diabetes indicators, and thyroid functioning (done that day)
  • Referral for mammogram (done yesterday) and colonoscopy (scheduled for May)
  • Referral to a local bariatric center that, besides doing surgeries, offers post-op medical/lab support, support groups,  psychological counseling and regain weight loss programs designed for post-op patients.  (intake appointment next Thursday)
  • Rx for a low dose of prozac to calm me down and help me cope with my day-to-day shit. (started Wednesday)
  • A follow-up appointment in a month to check on me and see how I am doing

I walked out of her office feeling better and stronger already simply because I finally felt like I have someone in my corner – rooting for me – not just telling me to lose weight and get therapy.

That’s a long way around to NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN.   In 2008, I weighed 147 pounds – 3 years post op and 10 lbs up from my happy weight of 135-ish.  In 2009, it was 151.  Not bad, four  pounds.  This week I weighed in at 187.

I was one of those post-ops who swore NEVER AGAIN.  I’m never going back “there” again. The reality is that without vigilance, without continuing to always work on our HEAD BATTLES along with our FOOD BATTLES, we can easily regain the weight we so painstakingly lost. We can … and we do.

But our tool is always there – our pouchies for us RNY gastric bypass post-ops.  I’m back at that sick and tired of being sick and tired point.  I’m not beating myself up nor am I full of self-loathing for having regained.  I am concerned that the very issues I sought to avoid in 2005 are again realistic concerns … a very strong family history of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  I’ve been lucky so far, but I fear the possibilities.

So next Thursday I begin a medically supervised fasting weight loss program designed and administered by a medical group that specializes in weight loss surgery and support.  I am grateful that my health insurance covers it. I will take advantage of this as long as i have this insurance (pending my divorce becoming final) or can afford a subsequent medicare supplement that also covers this service.

I’m putting myself out there for the benefit of others on this journey.   It’s real, this path we take.   Never the easy way out, always requiring care and vigilance.  But don’t ever give up.

Namaste …..

I honor your journey –

IttyBitty

 

 

 

Mental Wellness

One Day At A Time …

It’s a landmark day for me anyway, and hopefully for my son …

I’m preparing to take him to drop him off at work – and when I pick him up at 1:30-ish, will be taking him to enter a cocaine detox program for 5 days.  Some may think, well, duh …  but it’s taken me two years to get this far with him.

At first, he used to quell his anxiety attacks when his bi-polar meds weren’t calming him enough.  And, of course, the seductress drew him in.   He’s tried on his own and relapsed.  It hasn’t helped that his “girlfriend” I believe (no proof) uses with him.

Ranting and raving and mom temper tantrums haven’t accomplished anything – and I’m sure added to his anxiety levels- one of which is dealing with confrontation.  He doesn’t – he withdraws.  He doesn’t “fight back”, he shuts down (a defense he developed when dealing with his verbally and psychologically abusive father when my son was a teen).  Fighting back, sticking up for your self resulted in a tirade.

In early November I told him I was done with his drug use, he needed to get himself into a rehab program – inpatient or outpatient.  He found an outpatient program that Medi-Cal (California’s medical insurance for indigent and low-income people) recommended.  They don’t cover the cost of mental health/drug addiction treatment programs though IF YOU CAN FIND ONE THAT TAKES MEDI-CAL you might find a sliding scale.

The outpatient/day program requires intakes test clean before accepting them in to the $1100, 12-week program.  He couldn’t stay clean.  The next step is to do the $840, 4 night/5 day detox program, then go on to the $1100 12-week day program.

I’m getting a cashiers check for $840. this morning.  Some how, some way I’ll come up with the $1100.  I am 100% behind him and will do anything in my power to help him be successful.  I have my fears as I’m sure any parent or spouse in my shoes does.  But I am hopeful. I have to be.

I also have conversations with myself about what if it fails?  If it was a simple matter of drug dependence, as hard as it is, it would be easier to lock the door and tough love him.  The added complication of his Bipolar disorder II, rapid cycling and anxiety disorder makes it much more difficult to do that.  His anxieties I fear would overcome him.

It’s hard being a parent in the best of situations, it’s harder when your children, small or adult, have extenuating special needs.

And there always has to be hope.  And we start this day and move forward, one day at a time.  One step at a time.  With hope. And encouragement.  And love.

Namaste – I honor you and send you hope whether struggling with hopelessness, or loving someone and holding onto your hope that they find their way.

Itty Bitty.

Family

Shades of Grief -Divorce

Grief

A week ago I alluded to my amicable divorce.   It still is, we are in agreement on all things and will be doing a no response/uncontested action.  Taking care of business.  It’s a relief that my terms are not being questioned – though it’s simply whats yours is yours, what’s mine is mine.  But I am grateful that we are able to be calm, rational adults.

It is, none the less, the death of a dream – of a hope – of a partnership where we were to stand beside each other and face life’s challenges together.

I have, over the last week, found myself grieving the death of the dream. The death of the hope of finally having found someone who was committed to standing beside me as I dealt with the challenges of my world.  He just isn’t capable of understanding and embracing my life’s challenges.   That’s ok – I don’t hold it against him – I just need to move on and deal with them on my own.  It is a lot to ask someone.   I was just hopeful.

And so I grieve – and I know that as I process these feelings, as I have in the past with the death of my kids’s father 23  years ago, and the death of my parents, and the crash and burn and escape from a brainfart marriage to an alcoholic/addict that ended 9 years ago, I will find a place to tuck away the grief. And the love. And the memories. And even the hope.

And I will be stronger for it.

And I am content being alone – for it is much easier than being lonely with someone you had a dream with.

cropped-menjeff.jpg
Maui, 2011 ~  Thanks For The Dream, J.  Take care of you.

Namaste – I honor you who are grieving a loss.  Be kind to yourself, and take your time.

Itty Bitty